Don’t End up Like the Crashed Subaru WRX I Saw, Use These Winter Driving Tips to Keep Safe

  • A busted Subaru WRX teaches some lessons to us and its driver
  • Keep sand around and spend real money on a snow scraper
  • Snow tires are the best winter driving decision you can make

This morning, in Denver, Colorado, it snowed. It was the latest snowfall ever recorded in my home state. Just as the geese flee south for the winter, the inevitable three-way marriage of a young man, his Subaru WRX, and a snow-sprinkled curb heralds the arrival of winter in my home state. Today, we’ll discuss how we can all avoid ending up like this poor bastard and his beloved (now totaled) WRX with some winter driving tips.

The crashed Subaru WRX is a reminder that AWD isn’t everything

A blue Subaru WRX rally car sideways in Perth
No doubt our friend felt something like this before the crash | Reporter Images via Getty Images

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Out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter. I was sent by my girlfriend to see what was the matter. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave a lustre of midday to the knackered Subaru WRX below. Unfortunately, some poor guy crashed his Subaru by oversteering into a curb outside my house this morning. Look here for the difference between oversteer and understeer.

Snow tires are without question the number one thing you can to do avoid being yelled at by your girlfriend on a cold Friday morning amid the wreckage of your car. Our victim had some pretty bald all-season tires, and a pretty heavy right foot it would seem. Usually, when you drive in the snow, neither of those things will help you. While the AWD of the Subaru WRX no doubt gives more traction than only two driven wheels, a good set of snow tires has no substitute.

3 key elements for safe winter driving

A stranded car being hauled out of a snow bank
Don’t let this be you this winter | Kristian Buus/ via Getty Images

And that brings us to three more key elements of surviving winter driving. First, visibility. Obviously, that’s a bit broad, so let’s narrow things down. Make sure your wipers function. They may have comically wagging about, narrating the demise of the Subaru WRX from this morning, but being able to see what you’re about to hit is a huge advantage. Of course, that also means properly cleaning off your car. And I mean all the way. Get the roof and the sides too, lazybones. If you don’t, you could end up blinding someone behind you, causing an accident.

Now, our next tip is equally important here as it is in rally racing, something our zealous Subaru WRX driver was likely fond of. It’s called the “Driver Mod.” Basically, learn how to drive better. When the first snow hits the ground, head out to an empty parking lot. Do some donuts like you used to in high school and learn how your car behaves when the grip goes. It may save your life.

What should you carry in your car for winter driving?

A man cleans the snow off of his minivan parked on a street corner
Always keep gloves and a snow scraper handy | Michael Loccisano via Getty Images

Finally, you can also keep a few things handy to make winter driving easier. Spare winter clothes and some sand will help you get unstuck and stay warm and dry. Don’t use some cheapo gas station scraper either. Spend real money on one. It’s seriously worth it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go clean Subaru WRX off the sidewalk because Mr. McRea couldn’t be bothered.

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